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They simply have a plan to keep wages low. They always have.

Election diary No. 23: Wednesday, 30, March 2022.

The Coalition simply have a plan to keep wages low. It’s in their DNA.

All those who think that wages are long overdue to rise are certainly out of step with former Finance Minister Mathias Corman.

What follows was first published in The Conversation on March 18, 2019

 

 

At the time, John Quiggin, writing in The Conversation reported that:

“The long debate over the causes of wage stagnation took an unexpected turn last week when Finance Minister Matthias Cormann described (downward) flexibility in the rate of wage growth as ‘a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture’.

It was a position that was endorsed in a flurry of confusion 16 seconds after it had been rejected by Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds.

Cormann had said policies aimed at pushing wages up could cause ‘massive spikes in unemployment’.

The ease with which Reynolds was trapped into at first rejecting and then accepting what her ministerial colleague had said flowed from the fact that Cormann had broken one of the standing conventions of politics in Australia, and for that matter, the English-speaking world.

For more than forty years, both the architecture of labour market regulation and the discretionary choices of governments have been designed with the precise objective of holding wages down.”

Cormann had spilt the beans in 2017. Had no one taken any notice? Why all of a sudden is there this frenzy about low wages now that it had clashed with high inflation and the rising cost of living.

“In a nation with a history of strong trade unions, decades of full employment, and the boundless faith in the future forged by the 1960s, wages grew faster than prices as both spiralled upwards.

By the time rising unemployment began to bite, and inflation slowed down, the wage share of national income had risen to an unprecedented 62%.”

Now with trade unions, all but KOd:

“… reining in this ‘real wage overhang‘ became the central obsession of macroeconomic policy since.”

Since then, policies designed to hold back wages have been a feature of conservative economic policy. It is not something that has just recently come to everyone’s attention.

In the election year, 2019, Bill Shorten argued for a restoration of penalty rates, a review of feminised industries that typically paid less, and a clampdown on wage theft. He declared the upcoming federal election a “referendum on wages“.

Shorten also wanted the minimum wage to be higher and believed the enterprise bargaining system should be overhauled.

An article on SBS at the time noted that the:

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison now argues Labor won’t be able to improve wages while taxing Australians more and that wage growth will come quicker as economic growth ramps up.”

Senator Cormann said if Mr Shorten wanted to mandate a particular wage level, he would be removing necessary flexibility in the system.

He will force more Australians onto the unemployment queues,” he said.

Labor workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor said Senator Cormann’s comments showed the coalition didn’t have specific policies designed to grow wages and reduce inequality.

Journalists of Australia, please wake up and do your job.

2 Seeking asylum? Which country has shown the most compassion? The one who had the heart to accept them or the one who couldn’t find the heart?

3 Insider blows the whistle on Angus Taylor’s greenhouse gas reduction schemes:

“An enviro market without integrity isn’t an enviro market… It’s a rort.

“Its little more than a wealth transfer. Think about it as welfare payments for the undeserving.”

Taylor might be praying for that far away miracle that allows him to breathe the free air we all do.

 

 

4 The words that exit his lying lips are just like all the others.

I haven’t been to Hillsong in 15 years.” Lies, continuous lies. There are many videos to show that he visited in 2019.

 

Image from Junkee

 

5 To think that a Minister should have to threaten to quit his job to get a fair go in the budget is somewhat alarming, but that is precisely what happened to the Veterans Affairs Minister Andrew Gee. He was on the brink of offering his resignation from the cabinet following an enormous blue over department funding days out from the federal budget.

6 The Budget Papers for 21/22 were released last night, and of course, I have had little or no time to peruse its guts, although I expect it was one totality aimed at winning an election and nothing else.

7 Those on the left of politics have endured yet another three years of conservative government. During this period and the other terms that amount to almost a decade, I have nearly exhausted myself writing about this period. I expect an election to be called later this week.

When a political party deliberately withholds information that the voter needs to make an informed, balanced and reasoned assessment of how it is being governed. It is lying by omission. It is also tantamount to the manipulation of our democracy.

I have described it as the worst duration of governance we have endured in the 60 plus years I have followed politics. Now we are called yet again to vote for the party we think will take us, following a disastrous pandemic and a decade of catastrophes, into a new future.

We have a choice, or do we? On the one hand, we have a government that has governed abysmally over a long period. Do we retain them despite their appalling record? A proven liar of little trust leads them. On the other hand, we could choose a party that is led by a politician who carries little baggage but without charisma. In my judgement, Albanese is a man suited to the times able to fix the many wrongs that Morrison and others have made.

But the campaigns of these two men are ahead of them. We are in Morrison’s case charged with looking at his record of the past and judging what he offers for the future.

The same goes for the more ‘unknown’ Anthony Albanese, but I’m prepared to say that he is far, far more trustworthy than the incumbent Scott Morrison.

I hope that the Australian people will this time take more significant care in selecting which party governs for the next three years. It well may be the most important election this country has ever faced.

My thought for the day

We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?

 

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12 comments

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  1. Kathryn

    The ONLY wages going up, up and UP are the obscene wages for politicians! Right now, Morrison is the FIFTH HIGHEST PAID POLITICAL LEADER in the free world! Clearly, it is NOT OK for working- and middle-class Australians to earn a decent day’s wage for a decent day’s work but it IS quite OK for the bone-idle, destructive, non-achieving pack of pathological liars, misogynistic skirt-lifting predators, smug and callously inhumane political psychopaths in the WORST, most dangerously undemocratic and corrupt regime in our history (ie Morrison and Dutton’s LNP) to suck up grotesque, totally undeserved and escalating salaries at OUR expense!

    Clearly, it is NOT OK for Australians – living in one of the wealthiest nations on earth – to expect to SHARE that wealth and earn decent salaries that keep pace with the horrendous rise of inflation and, thanks to the total ineptitude of the LNP, a stratospheric rise in the cost of just about everything! In the meantime, we watch this appalling, megalomaniacal narcissist and contemptuous bible-thumping hypocrite, Scott Morrison, handing over more than $42 MILLION of OUR hard-earned taxpayer funds to a thoroughly discredited, prosperity-driven conman, Brian Houston, who was the criminally corrupt leader of the notorious, CULT of Hillsong that Morrison openly supports! Brian Houston, an up-close-and-personal “buddy” of Morrison is now facing criminal charges for the shocking protection of his notorious father, Frank Houston, who was a dangerous, recidivist paedophile who preyed upon – and destroyed the lives of – at least nine young boys here and in New Zealand!

    The long, long, ever-growing list of corruption, rorts, depravity and obscene WASTE committed by the unspeakably appalling hypocrites in the LNP who just get worse and worse as they become even MORE corrupt and entitled!

    The FACT is that If there was EVER a despicable, totally unconscionable and depraved regime that needs to be KICKED TO THE KERB as a matter of extreme URGENCY, it is THIS one!

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/top-5-highest-paid-leaders-sco-mo-one-of-them-222617084.html

  2. Terence Mills

    “He has used his so-called faith as a marketing advantage.”

    Liberal Senator ConcettaFierravanti-Wells

  3. corvusboreus

    Terrence,
    I did enjoy outgoing senator Fierraventi’s excoriation of Morrison’s character (she even mentioned his ‘spiritual mentor’ being up on criminal charges)
    Way to shit in the drawer on the way out the door!
    Too bad her speech was delivered to a near-empty chamber.

  4. Keitha Granville

    re Sen Fierraventi : they NEVER make their actual views known whilst they are wishing to continue in their overpaid jobs. It’s pathetic to wait until the end to say what you really think. This speech would never have happened if the Senator was assured of her seat again. But then what else would we expect of a cohort whose sole aim once elected is to remain in place whatever the cost to the electorate.
    Yesterday before the budget was released – well, those few snippets that hadn’t already been leaked – the Treasurer in an interview said (paraphrased) that spending would need to be carefully controlled in areas like welfare, pensions, health, NDIS. Absolutely zero mention of the bloated system of allowances for MPs which double their salaries and in most cases are untaxed.

    If Labor really wants to win it should bite that bullet. Voters will flock to follow a team that recognises the obscenity of a daily living allowance equalling half the unemployment payment. But will they? Prob not.

  5. Phil Pryor

    Today’s perverted and corrupted federal conservative government scene shows that liars are lords and honest folk are suckers, lucky to jog on the spot of economic and social stagnation. The chronic, deepseated lying P M is so drenched in the stupidity and errors of superstitious foolery, he cannot think straight, behave well, work honestly, serve faithfully. He is a skinful of excremental malodorous irrelevancy, well described by the departing senator, C Fierravanti-Wells, as befits one about to die politically, and thus is attacked by waves of belated honesty. As for the treasurer, disneying away at delusions of success in his budget work, it is simply a budget for eight or so weeks of needled up imitation health, with horrors to follow for an incoming government, especially if ALP. If this team of turds gets back, it will finally describe Australia as the Unluckyfuckyducky country that wants self destruction to sustain illusions. The future is in wellpaid work with good conditions, highly unlikely under these oppressors. Environmental matters need urgent attention and do not get it. Finances are getting terminal. Debt for this government is a male blowup doll able to be inflated (guess where) to suit, so an illusion of reality is created for desperate suckers. (hah) Oh for a competent, honest government…

  6. corvusboreus

    “Departing Liberal senator takes aim at Morrison’s man”
    Ah the strayan media!

    In their reporting of senator F-W’s speech, the SMH decided to focus entirely on the section aimed at Alex Hawke, and completely ignored her direct attacks on Scott Morrison’s conduct and character.

    Perhaps they felt that a sitting coalition senator publicly stating that her own party leader (ie the PM) was “an autocrat” & “a bully” who had “no moral compass” and “wasn’t fit to be Prime minister” was not newsworthy.

  7. wam

    Selamat pagi, lord, apa kabar? ” I have had little or no time to peruse its guts” No need for a perusal, just remember the greens’ christine gave them no limit to cash with no backlash of a debt limit. So they have reaped the never ending crop, as she has sown. The majority of the $billions are promised over years, a ploy that caters for labor’s lack of memory and allows the gov to put the promised money to consultants, donors and pork barrelling political use in the meantime and indeed often to forget the promise altogether, as carparks. As for you thought: Does this help? The vast majority of Australians are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first.
    ps
    lord If the greens had voted to double the debt limit. Can you imagine the media giving air time to labor, every time the government had to ask for an increase???
    Yes, the morning shows love controversy and labor would get a gig every day the gov wasted cash??
    pps
    kathryn
    The pay increases is an automatic and hidden process. A sleazy lawyer put this ‘independent’ together to avoid voting on pay rises she tagged it independent but she wrote the terms of reference that tied hands feet together put on a blindfold and taped up the mouth.

  8. margcal

    While agreeing with C F-W that Morrison and Co are not fit for parliament, she lacks a bit of credibility given all the Liberal garbage she’s been happy to spruik until now.

  9. corvusboreus

    Margcal,
    I am not blind to wider context in expressing appreciation of aspects in senator F-W’s speech.

    She is a full-on wingnut of the Liberal far-right, a climate-skeptic gospel-truther who pals around with people like Eric Arbetz.

    Note that at the start of her recent speech she attributes scomos failings to him being ‘of the left’.

    All that aside, the outgoing coaltion senator managed to delivere a bunch of uncomfortable truths (ie supportable facts) about the PM’s conduct, as well as some highly quoteable damnations of his overall character.

  10. GL

    Jesus Effing Christ! This is bloody horrifying! Will Rupert or Costello say anything about it? Probably not.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/mar/30/barnaby-joyce-abolishes-body-set-up-to-advise-on-major-water-projects-after-dam-announcements

    The disgusting and vile Laming strikes again. What will Scummo say to Laming? Most likely all we hear is the faint sounds of crickets in the distance.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-m-not-paying-back-a-cent-laming-refuses-to-repay-10k-in-travel-expenses-20220330-p5a9hg.html

  11. Jano from the Gong !

    John .. A good read ..

    Regarding your thought of the day ..right at the end, you say ………………. why is it so ?????…………….

    Its sticks out like dogs clackers , mate … It’s called – The Great Australian Apathy ! …. Along with the usual nuisances , and the same ole .( If it ain’t broke don’t fix it attitude, in successive governments ) This goes a long way of explaining why they are like that , after they vote .. etc , etc ..

    This years – May day / Aprils fools Budget ,

    Nothing but a fake tan ..! , From the buffoons and looney tunes in Canberra………..

    ,Bip ! Bip !…..

    P.S. 28 years since- WORK FOR THE MOLE – The Dole was implemented , and its still a noose around the neck of the long term un-employed in this country !!!!!! ( A Fair go for all ??? Or Just some ???? ) …….Bip ! Bip ! …….thats all folks …..

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